This psychological thriller is about a girl who catches the same train to London every morning. As she sits looking around at other passengers and outside the window, she makes up stories about the people she sees, but there is one place that the train stops where she can see into the backyard of a house and the two people who live there. She spins a fantasy in her mind about this couple, even giving them names. She imagines them having a perfect life – they are good looking, they have a lovely home, unlike her own circumstances, the details of which emerge like the layers coming off an onion.
One day, she sees something which sets off a chain of events – much like a train hurtling to a catastrophe. One critic described the narrative as “propulsive”, which I think is a very apt description.
As the novel unfolds, the reader finds out a lot more about Rachel, and I would be spoiling the novel if I give too much more than this away. There are two other characters who tell the story, but their perspectives, just as Rachel’s, cannot be taken at face value – which all adds to the gripping mystery at the heart of this novel.
The writer is gifted in the way she draws her characters, and the way she is able to get inside the thought life of her characters.
It is one of those books you just want to read and read to find out what happens – and as for the conclusion to this book -you won’t see it coming.